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Ohanaeze Reacts To UK Warning Of Terror Attacks In Nigeria

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The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council worldwide, on Thursday, condemned the recent travel advisory issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom on 21 states in Nigeria.

It would be recalled that a statement on the UK government website said all travels to Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Gombe, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River States and 20km of the border with Niger in Zamfara State should be cancelled.

The FCO warned against all trips to Bauchi, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Jigawa, Katsina, Kogi and within 20km of the border with Niger in Sokoto and Kebbi States, non-riverine areas of Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers and Abia States.

Reacting OYC’s President General, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro described the report as false information filled with malicious intent.

Isiguzoro maintained that the South East was the safest haven in Nigeria for investors.

In a statement he signed, Isiguzoro said: “The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth council worldwide, contrary to malicious intent and false information of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, declared that one or two States in South East Nigeria is(or are)among the 21 States unsafe for British National to travel to, as total fallacy and inclusion of any South East State is an error that must be corrected and debunk such unfriendly report.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth council worldwide wishes to inform the World, as the watchdogs of the South East Nigeria,We declare that “South East Nigeria as the Safest Haven for Investment and Tourism”, There’s no record of any act of terrorism or any Terroristic Activities in the soil of South East Nigeria including Abia State, We urge our potential investors and Tourists to disregard any fantastically fabrication created by the fifth columnist to derail the huge business investment coming to Enyimba Economic City.

“We applaud the South East Governors led by Gov Dave Umahi for putting up a world-class Security intelligence through prompt motivation of Security agents for efficiency and effectiveness in the discharge of their duties by our gallant security agents, These Governors as chief Security officers in their various States had improved the Security of their various States individually and collectively as South East Governors.

“We warn against malicious and doctored report by agents of destabilization and deception Masquerading as Credible source feeding malicious report to reputable organization with a devilish intent to cause disaffection and derail the huge economic investments coming towards the South East Nigeria especially the ” New Dubai” in Nigeria called Enyimba Economic City the Global business hub in the South East approved by the Federal Government as Free trade Zone and Special Economic Zone Under the Made in Nigeria For Export. We believe that UK report of including Abia State killed the dream of EEC, but their inclusion of Abia and mischievous act is Dead on Arrival, and Urge the General public, especially our foreign investors to disregard the report.”

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Inside Nigeria

BREAKING: Buhari Nominates Okonjo-Iweala For WTO Director-General Position

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the nomination of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, former coordinating minister for the economy, for the position of director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), TheCable reports.

In a document seen by TheCable on Thursday, Buhari withdrew the candidacy of Yonov Frederick Agah, Nigeria’s permanent representative to WTO, for the same position.

The election is scheduled to hold in Geneva, Switzerland in 2021 for a four-year term that would run from 2021 to 2025.

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Buhari Presides Over Virtual FEC Meeting

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President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the State House, Abuja.

The meeting, which started at 09:02 GMT has the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, as well as some Ministers in attendance.

Ministers present in the hall include those of Justice, Aviation, Finance, Information and Culture, Environment, Water Resources, Defence and Works.

All other Ministers are attending form their various offices in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.

The meeting is expected to consider issues surrounding how the nation can mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 and how to enhance the livelihood of Nigerians in the midst of the pandemic.

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Senate Okays Buhari’s $5.513bn Loan Request

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The Senate on Tuesday approved President Muhammadu Buhari’s $5.513 billion external loan request to finance the revised 2020 budget.

The approval followed the presentation and consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Odia (Edo Central) by the upper chamber.

Buhari had, in his letter of request, said the $5.513 billion external loan is to enable the Federal Government fund the 2020 revised budget.

However, the components of the external loan, which is to enable the Federal Government execute its priority projects and for projects to support state governments in stimulating their economy, which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was stood down by the Senate due to lack of requisite details.

A lender for the Federal Government’s priority projects as approved by the Senate is the African Development Bank (AfDB) – $125million to strengthen healthcare system and improve response to COVID-19 and $23 million for financing smallholder farmers to mitigate food security impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Others are $600million from the Islamic Development Bank to support response to challenges posed by COVID-19 and $500 million from the African Export-Import Bank to provide critical medical supplies to combat COVID-19.

Also, the Senate passed the 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) of the Federal Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last Thursday, in a letter, urged the upper chamber to consider and approve the 2020-2022 MTEF/FSP.

The Senate approved the recommendation of the Senator Solomon Adeola-led Senate Committee on Finance that the price of crude oil put at $25 per barrel by the Federal Government, be increased to $28 per barrel.

The upper chamber also approved that the proposed daily oil production benchmark of 1.9 million barrel per day be reduced to 1.8mbd.

The Senate also backed the proposed exchange rate, which was moved by the Federal Government from N306 to one dollar to N360 per dollar.

This development invariably shows that the Senate has thrown its weight behind the devaluation of the naira.

However, other critical parameters like the exchange rate of N360 to a US dollar, 14.43 inflation growth rate and 4.42 GDPgrowth rate were retained.

Other assumptions retained are N5.09 trillion Federal Governmnet’s revenue, N10.51 trillion, N4.95 trillion fiscal deficit and N4.17 trillion new borrowings (including foreign and domestic borrowing).

Others are N398.5 billion as statutory transfers, N2.68 trillion for debt service, N272.9 billion as sinking fund and N536.7 billion for Pension and gratuities.

The Senate also retained other components of the proposal in the MTEF/FSP includingN10.51 trillion as total expenditure, N4.93 trillion as total recurrent, N2.83 trillion for personnel cost and N2.23 trillion for capital expenditure.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola in his report, said the increase in the oil price benchmark from the proposed $25 to $28 was as a result of the recent upward trend of the price of crude oil in the international market.

According to him, the price oil per barrel is now $38 with a very strong indication that the price will rise to $40 or $45 per barrel.

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the passage of the MTEF/FSP, urged the Senate Committee on Privatisation to laise with the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) in ensuring that the projected N260billion from proceeds of privatised agencies are realised and used to fund critical projects in the revised 2020 budget.

He faulted some special accounts being operated by the executive particularly the Natural Resources Development Accounts.

According to him, such accounts at this time of scarcity of funds, are not all necessary.

“Keeping monies in Natural Resources Development Accounts is more of waste than serving critical purposes,” he said.

He thereafter adjourned sitting to next week Tuesday for consideration and possible passage of the revised N10.509 trillion 2020 budget.

However, the intention of the Federal Government to borrow Euro 995million from the Export-Import Bank of Brazil to support Green Imperative and enhance the mechanisation of agriculture and agro-processing in the country, was put in abeyance by the upper chamber.

Also, the ongoing negotiation by the Federal Government with the World Bank for between $500million – $750 million for COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme to support state-level efforts to protect livelihoods, ensure food security and stimulate economic activities, has not been approved.

Additionally, $500 – $750 million also being negotiated with the World Bank for State Fiscal Transparency and Sustainability Programme to provide fiscal support to the States was not approved.

The Committee said that it would consider the proposals when it gets requisite details on what the loans would be used for from the Minister of Finance, Budget National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.

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